My Cup Is Full

Carrie and Santiago sent roses from Argentina, Kathy and John sent dinners from Santa Barbara, Debra, Conni, and Mikki, a veritable gaggle of personal chefs, showed up to stock our freezer and warm our hearts, somehow this one-handed life is getting sweeter by the minute. I want to give something back to all who have helped us, but, of course, I have only one hand and it can’t give much.  It can still write, though, and here is what it wrote the other day, as surprising to me as I hope it will be to you.

I should say that it’s not about anyone or anything real, just the purest message from my imagination on viewing a painting of figures on the beach, a ten minute writing exercise.


Lei me down in a field of flowers, a wreath around my bronzed neck, my lei day is upon me while all around me lounge lazily, lei-less.

Oh lei me again, Sam, you who weren’t afraid to wear flowers, piling leis all over my body and diving in, the scent of plumeria intoxicating, our love sultry and salty, a by the sea sort of love that washed away one day on the ebb tide.

We wove hundreds of leis for your funeral and I set each one gently down on the bier that stood in for your sweet body, never returned to me, resting now somewhere beneath the waves. We cast those leis adrift with our prayers for your peace, but what about my peace I wanted to scream. No lei shall touch my silken nakedness now that you are gone, and yet the flowers speak to me still, gather me, lei me, and I cannot resist their call, stringing them, sometimes carelessly, sometimes with remembered passion, and sell them to heedless tourists on the beach.

Oh lei me down,  in the waters so deep, my love rests so far from land, oh lei me again, my own dear Sam, in the ocean’s cool sheltering hand.

Explore posts in the same categories: French Letters Visits America

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